Alec Baldwin sues ‘Rust’ crew for damages, ‘clearing his name’ in fatal set shooting

On Friday, Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin filed a negligence lawsuit against the armourer and three crew members of ‘Rust’ over the shocking killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the Western film.

Filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Baldwin’s suit is a photo and email-heavy cross-complaint for negligence and indemnification that names armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, first assistant director David Halls, property master Sarah Zachry, and weapons & rounds supplier Seth Kenney and his company as defendants.

All four were also named as defendants along with Baldwin in the original lawsuit filed by a script supervisor who claimed the shooting caused her severe emotional distress.

Several other litigations have stemmed from the tragedy that occurred on the sets of ‘Rust’ on October 21, 2021, which is also under criminal investigation and could result in New Mexico state charges.

Attorneys for Gutierrez-Reed, Halls and Kenney have not yet responded to requests for statements in their clients’ defence. 

Baldwin’s cross-complaint seeks damages, which are to be determined at trial, for the “immense grief” he endured due to the incident and the losses he faced. The suit was filed by Luke Nikas, an attorney for Baldwin who works with the firm Quinn Emanuel.

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“This tragedy happened because live bullets were delivered to the set and loaded into the gun, Gutierrez-Reed failed to check the bullets or the gun carefully, Halls failed to check the gun carefully and yet announced the gun was safe before handing it to Baldwin, and Zachry failed to disclose that Gutierrez-Reed had been acting recklessly off sets and was a safety risk to those around her,” Baldwin’s cross-complaint stated.

For the uninitiated, Hutchins was killed when a revolver assigned to Baldwin for rehearsal fired a live round that hit her and movie director Joel Souza during the ‘Rust’ film shooting in New Mexico.

In an interview, Baldwin maintained that he did not pull the trigger of the Colt .45 revolver and it fired after he cocked it. Meanwhile, an FBI forensic test of the single-action revolver found that it “functioned normally” and would not fire without the trigger being pulled.